(Editor's Note: In Riverside recently, an excavating crew struck a main gas line, forcing the evacuation of a several-block area and causing a several hour lock-down of a high school. The following press release is timely ...)
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) has launched a new national 811 "Call Before You Dig" website — www.call811.com — designed to serve as a national resource for professional excavators. The new website is being launched to educate industry audiences about the new 811 "Call Before You Dig" telephone number. The national number has also been launched to the public.
"Knowing where utility lines are buried before each digging project helps protect those who dig from injury, expense and penalties," said CGA President Bob Kipp. "Our new website will provide the professional digging community with the tools they need to begin educating their employees and customers about the new national 811 number to launch later this year. One easy phone call to 811 will get the approximate location of underground utility lines marked for free," he continued. "Safe Digging Is No Accident: Always Call 811 Before You Dig."
811 is the new FCC-designated national N-11 number created to eliminate confusion of multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers across the country. This quick and efficient service connects callers with local One Call Centers who notify the appropriate local utilities, who then send crews to the requested site to mark the approximate location of underground lines for free.
Knowing where underground lines are buried before each digging project helps prevent injury, expense and penalties. In 2004, according to industry data, CGA estimates there were approximately 680,000 underground line strikes resulting in damages, including service outages and injury. Many of these accidents might have easily been avoided by calling ahead to have lines marked before digging. A recent national survey conducted for CGA shows that confusion exists among the public as to the necessity of calling before every dig job.
The website, www.Call811.com, is designed to help professional excavators learn about the new number and educate consumers about the national "Call Before You Dig" service. On the site, CGA has made a fully downloadable set of campaign materials available for free use, and created an online "tips and tools" forum to share best practices across the digging industry.
CGA is a member-driven association of nearly 1,400 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. For more information, visit CGA on the web at www.commongroundalliance.com.